Choosing an IT support company can be like selecting a roommate. You think that you’re going to get along, but you never really know until you move in together. Being stuck with a managed IT service provider that fails to meet your expectations will have big implications for your business. There is a way to better predict the kind of experience you’re going to have with an IT company if you look for these top three qualities.
1. More Know-How
You’re outsourcing IT because you want to get knowledge that you don’t have internally, so any Managed Service Provider (MSP) you’re considering should know their stuff. They should have a depth of knowledge and skills in IT best practices, as well as expertise with different technologies like Cloud Computing, Microsoft 365 and disciplines like cybersecurity.
The managed IT services company should be able to give you access to a whole IT department of specialties, from help desk and network administration, to project management and IT consulting. This pool of expertise should contain people who are problem solvers and thrive on challenge because when it comes to technology, there’s always something new to learn.
How do you know if the MSP has know-how?
Ask if the company holds any third-party certifications or partnerships. Certifications like Microsoft Gold Partner, Dell Partner Direct and Cisco Registered Partner are signals that the IT provider is competent in these different technologies.
Ask how the company supports employee professional development. Top MSPs invest in their employees with ongoing education and training. Compensating employees for earning certifications motivates employees to keep learning, and benefits the company by giving them a vast mix of skills to apply to client goals and challenges.
If the IT company you’re considering has SOC 2 compliance, then you’ll know that they’ve successfully completed the SOC 2 audit process verifying that they are knowledgeable about how to plan and implement effective security strategies.
2. More Ideas
If your view of technology is that it’s just a piece of overhead, then it’s probably enough for your IT company to be satisfied with keeping your IT systems running. However, if your view of technology is that it’s fuel to power your business, then you should be partnering with an MSP that can bring you ideas on how IT can improve your business and become a competitive advantage.
The best exchange of ideas is going to be a two-way street. You should be able to take ideas to your IT partner when you learn about new industry trends. They will think of the things that you can’t, like how new technologies can integrate into your systems, and identify implications that affect your business processes.
The MSP should bring you ideas for how you can build a solid IT foundation on which to scale, and then use IT strategy to create a roadmap for improvements. Improvements can be anything from using cloud services and automating business processes, to interpreting cybersecurity compliance regulations into security controls.
How do you know if the MSP will bring you ideas?
Ask if the IT company is going to provide you with a dedicated vCIO (Virtual Chief Information Officer). The person in this role will work closely with your management team to create a customized IT strategy for your business based on your goals.
Read client stories and ask for referrals to learn about real outcomes of the IT provider’s work.
3. More Commitment
When you have so much riding on your technology - like the future of your business – you want to know that your managed IT service company has your best interests at heart. That means that your success is their success, and that the relationships that you have as companies, and individuals, matters.
True managed IT services are focused on the client and building a predictable IT foundation on which to scale and innovate. Best practices are implemented to prevent problems and to give your employees and customers a great technology experience. You’re always moving down a path of improvement so that IT can bring increasing value to your organization.
The best technology services are delivered by people for people, and relationships are built with great communication. It makes a difference if when you call the Help Desk, the voice on the other end is someone you’ve talked to before. It matters if you know that the owner of the company has an open-door policy.
How do you know if the MSP will be committed to you?
Look at how they’re committed to others. Ask about their employee turnover rate. Ask about their year-to-year client retention rate.
How long have they been in business? A business that isn’t committed to customers and solving their problems isn’t very sustainable. So when you see a company that’s been in existence for a few decades and may even include the next generation of family leadership, you know that the owners are committed.
Let’s Up Your Game with More Know-How, Ideas and Commitment
If you’re ready for your technology to bring real value to your business, then it’s time to up your game. We work with companies that have from 25 – 600 users, providing managed IT services that improve operations and enable success.
Contact us to schedule a meeting.